Twents course for UT people: 'We like to keep it safe in Twente'

| Stan Waning

Starting Wednesday, Martin ter Denge (36) will give a mini-course in Twents dialect for interested internationals in the Amphitheater. The 'Nedersaksivist' from Rijssen hopes that this will give the UT community a better understanding of the culture and language of Twente.

Photo by: Gerieke Pluimers
Martin ter Denge.

What will your course look like?

'It's a kind of introduction to the language and culture of Twente and it's about the customs of the people who live here. I can imagine that many international students and staff members, before they come to the Netherlands, look for videos What's it like living in the Netherlands? Then you see an American telling you about Amsterdam, but the situation in Twente is very different. That's what I try to explain.'

How will you do that?

'I want to give participants an understanding of what to expect when they walk off campus. What accents and customs they will encounter and why that is so. I do this because I am an activist for Lower Saxon. Twente people talk differently, are less direct and less likely to give their opinions. That's because we live more harmoniously with each other here. For some cultures, like German and Scandinavian, that is pleasant, for other cultures it takes getting used to and leads to a culture clash. Twents is very different from the Dutch boldness. Saying joa joa and meaning no is the best example. We like to keep it safe in Twente.'

What do you hope to achieve with the course?

'More understanding for the culture of Twente on the part of international visitors. That they understand what krentenwegge, kroamschudd'n and the paasboake mean to the people of Twente. Also in the economic field, more understanding of the Lower Saxon language can make a difference, because it comes back in the Dutch, German, Scandinavian and English language. And also think of the working group Keeping Talent in Twente. The percentages of international students staying in Twente are not high, but if you understand the culture better, someone might consider an existence in Twente.'

What about the applications?

'I heard that five interested people have signed up. That doesn't seem like a lot, but the course only has room for about ten to fifteen people. Hopefully the number will rise a bit more. The course is spread over three evenings. The lecture I recently gave was to a full house and the audience was interested, so that is a good sign.'

Interested people can still register here.

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